As the dust settles down following last week’s High Court ruling which caused a stir through out the reaches of the entire expanse of the country, details are now emerging concerning two of the five judges who were on the Court’s bench, which not only declared the Constitutional Amendment Bill 2020 unconstitutional, but also null and void.
It is worth noting that the declaration which was made by the five-member Judges bench wasn’t split, but rather unanimous.
It has now come out that Judge George Odunga, and Judge Joel Ngugi, who was also the lead Judge of the five judges, and was the one who delivered the final judgement, are, as a matter of fact, among the 41 judges that the president has so far declined to appoint.
This is likely to be considered a huge conflict of interest as the Judges might have a particular bias against the president.
Justice George Odunga is a High Court judge who has been presiding in Machakos High Court, and is among the eleven who the Judicial Service Commission had nominated for a spot in the Court of Appeal. Odunga dominated the headlines with his rulings at the height of fierce political campaigns ahead of 2017 poll. The rulings earned him Jurist of the Year Award by the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ), which described him as impartial, fearless, and consistent.
“Indeed, you have affirmed and re-affirmed to the country that no man is above the law and no man is below it; nor do we ask any man’s permission to obey it. Obedience to the law is demanded as a right; not as a favour,” the citation by the jurists read.
Judge Joel Ngugi has been a judge at the High Court of Nakuru, and was also nominated by the JSC for a spot in the appellate court.
He alongside seven of his neighbours were once locked in a land dispute where they obtained court orders to block Guangzhou Villas Ltd from accessing land adjacent to their houses.